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What works of art does Kim Jones like?

A catalogue of Sotheby's gives an insight into the tastes of Dior's creative director

What works of art does Kim Jones like? A catalogue of Sotheby's gives an insight into the tastes of Dior's creative director

The famous auction house Sotheby's invited Kim Jones, creative director of Dior Homme, a frequent collaborator of contemporary artists and collector himself, to create a small selection of about twenty works from the "Contemporary Curated" auction catalogue. Jones chose his favorite works from a catalogue of more than 250 lots that includes both contemporary pop artists such as Takashi Murakami, KAWS and Yayoi Kusama as well as photographers, sculptors, jewellers and painters such as Hockney and Willem de Kooning. Before going to auction on March 6, the works will be the protagonists of an exhibit in New York that begins on February 28. Speaking about her choices and tastes with Vogue, Jones said:

I’m quite fast when I make decisions about things like that. It’s the same as when I’m working doing a collection, I guess. I pulled out things I loved, and the things that spoke to me, and the things that related to what I do with my job at Dior.

These works can open a window into Jones' aesthetic tastes and inspirations. The most similar to a piece of clothing is Nick Cave's Hustle Coat, a normal coat on the outside but whose inner lining is a real armor of jewelry. The mixing of a classic men's wardrobe item with luxury accessories is an element declined in very different ways by Jones in his various collections, in which the aesthetic of the classic men's coat was redefined by the use of precious accessories. It's remarkable that Jones feels for accessories since, in the midst of paintings and design works, there are two precious accessories such as an Alexander Calder diamond brooch and Simone Leigh's Decatur cobalt headpiece. The rest of the works alternate a minimalist essentiality such as one of the ensembles of untitled works by Raymond Pettibon and a painting by Kerry James Marshall to more chaotic works, filled with stylized caricatures of the human figure such as the painting Waiting Outside by Jonathan Lyndon Chase and the Who's She Looking For? by Jim Nutt. The best picture of all, though, is Gregory in the Pool by David Hockney, perhaps the greatest living painter along with Gerhard Richter.

None of the chosen works is classical in the proper sense of the term. They all seem like a reflection of a vivid and chaotic imagination. Works such as George Condo's The Strangers or Wayne Thiebaud's Civic Center, for example, warp reality on the edge of the grotesque but with a strong comic streak and acid humor. Different works such as Doug Aitken's Flesh and Cindy Sherman's Untitled Film Still #62 instead seem to reflect Jones' love of old fashion magazines by expressing him one through a powerful use of lettering and the other through a nostalgic self-portrait of the artist who rereads his identity by impersonating various culturally coded roles. The same apparent chaos dominates some of Dior's creations, the most elaborate and dense with graphics.

Charlotte Van Dercook, director of "Contemporary Curated" auctions at Sotheby's, decided to undertake this collaboration and invite Jones as guest curator because of the continuous dialogue between the designer and the world of contemporary art that manifests itself in each of Dior's collections, each inspired by the work of a different creative. In addition, commercially, this auction is also aimed at younger buyers, and Jones's ability to translate the language of modern art into forms that the new generations are able to love has been another important factor in the choice of invite him to curate his own selection of works. His selection is presented as a series of expressive works of Jones' taste, filtered through the designer's vision.

In general, however, each of these works can become a window on one of the most influential creative minds in fashion today and also represent an opportunity to explore a world, that of contemporary art, which is rarely explained and rarely understood, acting as an effective bridge between the public and the most important artists of the last century.